Well-kept parks encourage activity, says study
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Well-kept parks encourage activity, says study

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Physical activity is affected by the design and maintenance of public spaces and people’s perceptions of them, according to a new study from Active Living Research.

The research, Creating Places That Promote Physical Activity: Perceiving is Believing, discovered that adults and children alike prefer to visit and spend time in appealing places and avoid unappealing places with, for example, boarded up buildings, graffiti litter, heavy traffic and hiding places.

Parents perception of neighbourhood safety reflects children’s activity levels. Naturalness is high on the priority list and children were found to be more active in areas with vegetation.

Regardless of socio-economic class, people are drawn to areas which are both aesthetically appealing and feel safe from both crime and traffic.

The report says that to encourage communities to be active, it is important for parks to be orderly and well-maintained. Also, people like open, unobstructed views, sitting space, sculptures, food, water, deciduous trees, access to the street, play equipment and good lighting and pavements.

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Physical activity is affected by the design and maintenance of public spaces and people’s perceptions of them, according to a new study from Active Living Research.
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Manchester Metropolitan University
Manchester Metropolitan University